|Directed by||Rich Christiano|
|Produced by||Rich Christiano
|Written by||Rich Christiano|
|Starring||D. David Morin
|Music by||Jasper Randall|
|Edited by||Jeffrey Lee Hollis|
|Distributed by||Five & Two Pictures|
Time Changer is an independent science fiction Christian seriocomic film written and directed by Rich Christiano, released by Five & Two Pictures in 2002. In the movie, Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) uses his late father's time machine to send his colleague, Bible professor Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin), from 1890 into the early 21st century. The film had a limited nationwide release, and was made available on VHS, DVD and video-on-demand.
Bible professor Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin) confronts and lectures a boy who has stolen marbles from his neighbors, calling his action unjust. The year is 1890 and Carlisle has written a new manuscript entitled The Changing Times, which promotes good morals without discussing Christ. The book is on track to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board of the Grace Bible Seminary. That is, until colleague Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) objects. Without unanimous endorsement, his book might not do so well. Carlisle and another professor seek a unanimity rule change, but the dean insists that Carlisle discuss the disagreement with Anderson privately.
Dr. Anderson fears that Carlisle's book could harm coming generations, arguing that teaching good moral values without mentioning Christ is wrong. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle over 100 years into the future, offering him a glimpse of where his beliefs will lead.
Arriving in the early 21st century, Carlisle is shocked to find that half of all marriages end in divorce (instead of 5% in 1890), teenagers talk openly about deceiving their parents, movies contain blasphemous language and people who go to church are so bored by the sermons that they need extra activities. He tries to convince a laundromat worker, Eddie Martinez (Paul Rodriguez), to go to church and read the Bible. Two churchgoing men grow suspicious of Carlisle, who acts as if he's seeing everything for the first time. They confront him as he is about to be transported back to the past. As the sky grows thunderous, Carlisle seems delirious as he talks about how the second coming of Christ is drawing near. Carlisle vanishes. The men look at where he vanished and one of the men says with dread, "I think we just missed the Rapture."
Carlisle rematerializes in 1890 and excitedly tells Anderson he will revise his book. He gives the thieving boy his own set of marbles and explains that it is Jesus Christ who demands honesty. Anderson tries to learn when the world will come to an end, by trying to send a Bible to the future. The machine won't operate with a target date of 2100, so he tries with progressively earlier decades 2090, 2080 and 2070, which fail. As the film ends, he makes at least two more failed attempts, aiming earlier and earlier, suggesting that either humanity cannot know when the End comes, or that the End will come before the mid-21st century.
Time Changer was Rich Christiano's first feature-length film. In August 2001 Christiano Film Group announced the film's cast, and that shooting would begin on October 6, 2001 in Visalia, CA, for an August 2, 2002 release. In February 2002, the website stated that the film was being edited in Los Angeles. In March, the first rough cut was completed, work began on a second pass, and streaming video was made available. In a press release, the theatrical release date was listed as October 4, 2002. Editing wrapped in June, while music score, sound design, and visual effects work continued, and two scene sneak previews were linked on the website. On August 2, the trailer was released online. On August 6 the press release changed to show a theatrical release date of October 11. On October 4, 2002, the film was announced as "ready to go", with a theatrical poster available which showed the final release date of October 25, as did the simultaneous press release.
The film premiered in limited nationwide release on October 25, 2002. It was released on VHS and DVD in 2003; The DVD included a "making of" featurette, commentary tracks, deleted scenes, promos and the trailer. Time Changer was one of the first Christiano films offered through the Sky Angel Video On Demand service.
In the Charlotte Observer, Lawrence Toppman praised the acting work, but had questions about plot holes and how some of the film's premises would be accepted by Christian viewers. Toppman wrote, "technically, the film can stand with most releases", and gave it 2.5 stars out of four. Variety reviewer Scott Foundas described the film as "goofy fantasy hokum" with a message, one scene as "subpar", and some monologues as "distinctly uncinematic", but other scenes as "surprisingly enjoyable." Foundas found the film "hard to read" - often having "its tongue planted firmly in its cheek", but at other times "sweetly naive". Joe Baltake of The Sacramento Bee gave 1.5 stars (of 4) to the "whimsical if predictable" film "marred by a willful single-mindedness." He found the film's beginning "interminable", and overall, "very strange".
- "Producer hopes 'Time Changer' strikes chord with Christians". Christian Examiner. Christian Times. November 2002. Archived from the original on 2006-10-22.
- "Time Changer - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The-Numbers.com. 2002.
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- "Cast Announced". timechangermovie.com. Christiano Film Group. August 30, 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-10-19. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
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- "Movie Status". timechangermovie.com. Christiano Film Group. August 2, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-08-02. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "New Day for Christian Films (Press release)". timechangermovie.com. Christiano Film Group. August 6, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-08-06. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "Movie Status". timechangermovie.com. Christiano Film Group. October 4, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-10-04. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "Can the 90 Million Church-Going Americans Make New Film a Hollywood Chart Topper? (Press release)". timechangermovie.com. Christiano Film Group. October 4, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- Foundas, Scott (October 27, 2002). "Time Changer". Variety.
- "Time Changer". timechangermovie.com. Christiano Film Group. October 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-10-15. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- Time Changer DVD. christiancinema.com. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- "Sky Angel First to offer Christiano Films through VOD". ChristianNewsWire.com. September 7, 2008. Archived from the original (Press release) on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
- "Books". Christian Movies. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-02-11. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- Christiano, Rich; Mitchell, Greg (2001). Time Changer. White Harvest Books/Christiano Film Group. ISBN 978-0966691146.
- Toppman, Lawrence (October 24, 2002). "Pious Time Changer preaches to the choir". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2002-11-07.
- Baltake, Joe (October 25, 2002). "Single-minded fable of moral authority". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on 2003-01-10.
- Time Changer. Rotten Tomatoes.com.